Hello dear Visitor,
My name is Alessandro, I’m an artist from Belgium. I create handmade sculpted miniature trees. I started Miniaturalia in 2011 by creating a Facebook Page mainly to share the few miniatures I was making. I used to make miniature figurines and characters; Minions and Groot were my favorites!
to the Little Shop with unique Handmade Miniature Trees
I have started the miniature trees in 2018.
Many of them have a bonsai influence, I have learned the Art of Bonsai (but I don’t have real bonsai trees anymore) as a kid. I always failed at keeping the real bonsai in good condition. This art truly requires dedication and patience. Now with the Miniaturalia trees, I can shape the trees to my wishes!
The website has been created in december 2020.
How are the miniature trees created? 3 major steps.
1. Pottery, wire armature & First layers
Some trees will require more steps, others less. I’m also experimenting a lot and trying new things out. Here are the major steps in the creation process. Enjoy!
If the miniature tree will be standing in a pot, this will be my very first step, sculpting the miniature pot. Bonsai potteries are my main inspiration.
This is the core of the tree, this armature will make sure that the tree is stable and it will also allow me to shape the tree as I wish with (almost) no limit but the imagination.
First Layers of Clay
While it's ok to cover the trunk, covering some very fine branches might be a challenge. Sometimes, it will not be possible to cover the branches with clay and I'm using an alternate way for creating volume and texture by mixing some components together (PVA glue, water, plaster, or ready-made joint compound e.g.). Adding fine sand to the mix will allow a nice textured finish.
Let's help Miniaturalia grow!
Come and join us on Facebook and enjoy more “Work in progress” & final results photos, a bunch of nice people, some nice videos (bear with me though, they take time to make…), and a future little trees catalog integrated in Facebook.
The community is still modest in number but it’s organically growing at its own pace. Hopefully, this online home will be a big step ahead! You can help me grow! Here’s the social link to Miniaturalia on Facebook… and Instagram. Thank you!
2. Sculpture, painting & foliages
The main steps and also those I enjoy the most doing… The tree is getting closer to a final shape. Colors and foliages are joining the party.
Sculpture & Details
A lot of attention to detail goes into my process at any level but this sculpture step is, obviously, an important one. Depending on my needs and the complexity of the tree, I will either use polymer clay (oven bake clay) or an epoxy putty (two components self-curing and hardening clay).
Loving it when it's time to add colors and life to the creation! I'm quite fond of using acrylics and all these tones and color variations. I have a lot of them... A LOT! Probably more than I would need but it's quicker to have multiple tones available rather than trying to get the results myself. I still mix them a lot though.
Not all trees (in nature) have their matching artificial foliages but some tree essences do have their own original ones; I'm thinking about olive trees, beech trees, generic pine trees and a few others. Other various foam based products do make nice tree foliages too, I'm using that technique as well.
These foliages are expensive, unfortunately, but they do add a nice level of realism and might make you think these trees are... real living trees.
3. Diorama bases, bells & Final results
The finishing steps! And also the rewarding ones 😉
What would the tree be without its diorama base (small or big or giant…), local (or Fantasy) flora and vegetation? To me, they are the final touches! “La cerise sur le gâteau”.
Diorama and bases
Suddenly it's like life would sneak into the creation and find home in this little world under the dome. Wooden bases are coated with a wood stainer and (part of) the plexi bell bases are re-painted in brown tones. I will experiment with more colors in the future!
Plexi Bell Trees
The plexi bell trees are those you will actually find on Miniaturalia in my Shop and are available right now. I have them in two sizes, small or medium; I do have a couple of larger plexi bells but they are home of no tree at this moment. Hopefully, sizes are specified on each Tree product page so you don't miss the information.
Glass Bell Trees
For shipping and other reasons, glass bell trees are NOT available YET. However, I'm looking at a suitable way of shipping glass bells art. Stay tuned!
Many "final retouching" later...
...the globe will finally embrace the Little Worlds to protect them from outdoors invaders. The mini landscape is done, the tree has its home sweet home, its own very place.
Here's an infinite source of inspiration, Nature.
A special thank you to the people around me who are supportive of my stubborn project!
And thank you dear Visitor for making it 'till the end of this long page!